Overshadowed by all of the talented welterweights set to fight on UFC 158’s main card, there’s a middleweight bout between two guys inching their way towards the title hunt at 185. Canadian fan favorite Nick Ring will put his 3-1 Octagon record up against fellow TUF 11 alum Chris Camozzi, who’s riding a three-fight winning streak of his own.

Although the winner of this fight isn’t exactly going to jump into middleweight title contention, they will take a significant step forward in a weight class that has a lot of fighters vying for big fights.

Ring is coming off the biggest win of his UFC career, scoring a controversial decision victory over Court McGee last summer in a repeat of their fight from The Ultimate Fighter a couple of years earlier. The win over McGee helped Ring rebound from a loss in his previous bout to Tim Boetsch, but it was far from an impressive performance and didn’t do much to elevate Ring in the middleweight rankings.

Winning close and controversial decisions has become a bit of a habit for Ring in his UFC career. Along with the two close wins over McGee, Ring has a very controversial win over Riki Fukuda on his resume. If “The Promise” wants to take a step up in the middleweight division, he’s going to need to make sure he wins this bout in decisive fashion. The fact that two of Ring’s UFC wins have been deemed robberies by MMA fans is likely what has kept Ring from getting more attention on this card, and the lack of hype surrounding Ring’s fights will continue unless he makes a statement soon. A finish would be preferable for him, but he may have a problem taking out an extremely durable fighter in Camozzi.

In seven fights inside the Octagon, Camozzi has only been finished once—a submission loss to Kyle Noke at UFC 127—and his 5-2 record in the UFC proves that he can compete with some of the top fighters in the world. Camozzi earned a good win in his last bout, taking out Luis Cane in front of the Brazilian faithful at UFC 153, and he has a chance to do the same to Ring in front of Ring’s devoted Canadian fans.

Camozzi is on the best run of his UFC career, earning stoppage victories over Dustin Jacoby and Nick Catone prior to his win over Cane. Due to “The Crusher’s” willingness to stand and trade bombs, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if a win on Saturday catapulted Camozzi into a fight with a well-known striker like Chris Leben or Brian Stann.

The possibility of a big fight remains open to Ring as well. “The Promise” will have a ton of support from the crowd on Saturday night, and if he delivers an impressive performance, he could easily get a step up in competition on a future card in Canada.

It’s still not exactly clear whether Ring or Camozzi are good enough to fight the upper tier of fighters in the middleweight division, but we’ll at least figure out which one of them is ready to take the next step up the middleweight ladder this weekend.

Photo: Nick Ring (R) connects with a right hand (James Law/Heavy MMA)

About The Author

Vince Carey
Staff Writer

Vince Carey has been writing about the sport of mixed martial arts since 2010. Although he is just 21 years old, the Omaha-based writer is looking to provide readers with interesting content on all things related to MMA.

  • Denny